Well, it’s taken me a while (a long while, nearly an epoch) to finally get to shooting some wet plates but here they are in all their glory (or lack thereof).
I took a course with the great Tony Richards back in January and have been slowly getting the equipment together needed to create and shoot wet plates. Now i say slowly, what i really mean is giving myself the ability to procrastinate a bit longer by insisting i don’t have all the bits i need! It is an equipment heavy discipline, tanks for silver and fixer, Silver nitrate and all the gear needed to create said silver bath etc, but to be fair i have just been stalling.
When a facebook post from Tony announced a wet plate meetup at Llanthony priory in August, i’d really run out of excuses and realised this is the impetus i needed.
So gear all sorted, chemicals all mixed and everything in the car for a day of plate making.
To be fair, it wasn’t a bad start. Darkroom setup proved effective, everything came together and the first plate worked! It wasn’t perfect but there was an image on it and that was a good start. It went a little downhill from there but it has to be said, it’s a huge learning curve.
Lessons learned – take your UV filter off the front of the lens (doh!), sensitise the right side of the plate (another doh!), don’t try and rub dirt off the plate with your finger (sigh, dogs learn faster than me sometimes) and my adapted Polaroid back leaks light like a sieve (electricians tape fixes everything).
So here they are, beautifully imperfect and hand made. Still a lot of work to do, some processes to adjust and test and a bit more testing to do. But i’m in love with the process and really loving even the bad results.